The Coast Guard offloaded more than 47,000 pounds of cocaine in San Diego on Thursday, Jan. 25.
U.S. and Canadian forces seized the drugs - worth more than $721 million - in 23 separate raids off the coast of Central and South America. Coast Guard personnel turned the cocaine over to federal agents for investigation, prosecution, and eventual destruction.
Senior U.S. and Canadian officials highlighted this mission as an example of their cooperation in combatting organized crime groups’ new tactics in this region.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Nanaimo and other Coast Guard crews seized the cocaine over the last few months from several suspected drug smuggling boats.
“The threat of transnational organized crime is a danger no one ship, agency, country or person can address alone,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, in a Coast Guard news release. “We stand alongside our interagency and international partners resolved in a shared purpose to protect those harmed by these dangerous drugs and bring the criminals who smuggle them to justice.”